Almost every thought-leader and hotshot CEO who made it big did so by focusing on one crucial aspect of their business: they embraced their niche. Whether you’re a young upstart launching a new blog, or an ambitious entrepreneur growing an online business or startup, the more laser-focused you are on a niche, the easier it is to succeed.
Judge Graham, a Texas-based entrepreneur and investor, calls the opposite tactic “going an inch-wide and a mile deep.” Avoid this has become something of a personal mantra for him through a decades-long career as a digital marketing professional. “I’ve learned the hard way through a few low lows that only by homing in on a niche can you be unique and stand out within your industry,” Graham said. “You simply cannot be a generalist anymore.”
Focus and clarity are crucial. Graham says “owning your niche” immediately gives you a leg-up on other businesses in the space. He argues that businesses that serve a well-defined niche within an industry are strategically poised to demand a larger multiple, putting them in position to scale faster.
“Don’t let your revolutionary idea die a quick death and end up in the overpopulated failed businesses cemetery,” said Graham. “We live in an age of specialization. By deciding early on to choose and target a market niche, whether demographic, geographic, psychographic, product oriented, or service, you take the biggest step towards positioning your company for scalable success and leadership.”
Truly whittling down your ideas seems like a daunting task, but Graham says not to worry. Here are some of his key strategies to finding a business niche early that will help you break out when it counts most.
Recognize Your Passion
A niche targets a distinct segment of the market. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t lose sight of what got you excited to start a business in the first place. “You’ll eventually find the answer, no matter how nebulous your thought process seems at first,” said Graham. “You have to ask yourself where your experience lies, what areas do other people remind you that you excel at, and what kinds of things do you love to do in your free time, even when you know you won’t get paid for it?”
It might seem counterintuitive when thinking about drilling down deep, but you have to start thinking broadly if you want to recognize your purpose. This process lets you focus on what’s easy and what’s right in front of you — not the future glory from your imaginary business empire. Going with your passion gives your mind room to hit that “sweet spot” when deciding your niche.
Find Your Market
Once you have conceptualized the type of business you want, Graham says you have to nail down the industry. This step forces you to find a market for the niche that will actually pay you. You don’t want your idea — whatever it is — to always just be a hobby. You don’t want to abandon your shot at finding your potentially lucrative work.
“If you recognize the trends you’re good at in X, Y, and Z, but your immediate competition only serves X and Y, you can make the Z your own,” adds Graham.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold
According to Graham, you should intentionally put pressure on yourself to choose the right niche. A little conceptual paralysis can be a good thing, because it can force you to the edge of your comfort zone. Graham says this is the space where truly revolutionary niche ideas are born, meaning your hyper-focused venture will have a better chance to succeed. Enabling bold ideas also gives you an edge up on potential competition.
“You can easily make note of other products that aren’t as good as your own, and your profitable niche should naturally emerge if it isn’t already self-evident,” Graham said. “Once you’re at that stage, you can hop to a more thorough analysis that sets you up to beat your competition.”
We live in an age where expertise is highly prized. Having enough insight to take hold of those little-serviced needs means you’ll be able to establish yourself within that section of relevance to a particular problem or audience.
“Forty-two percent of startups fail, mostly because they ignore the opportunity to capitalize on a niche and don’t actually provide a solution to a problem,” explains Graham. “That means almost half of all startup ideas are worthless. That’s a lot of wasted time, money and effort. If you’re only a generalist, unfortunately you might as well just quit then and there.”
By analyzing your personal skill set and confirming your expertise you gain the knowledge to focus on a niche that could spark a seriously successful business venture.
View Published Article on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateharrison/2018/09/21/to-scale-your-business-you-must-embrace-a-niche/#7a5716ff74b9